Resale has become ‘mainstream’ thanks to sustainability, supply chain issues, says The RealReal


“Resale has undeniably become mainstream,” RealReal President Rati Sahi Levesque says in the company’s annual shipments report, noting that luxury, in particular, “has one distinction that sets it apart: each demographic actively participates in the resale of luxury”. last year, “every demo increased its adoption of second-hand luxury, and nearly every brand saw its resale value rise accordingly.” As sustainability-centric motivations drive consumers to increasingly resell their stores, according to The RealReal’s report, the role of lingering supply chain issues was central to the company’s findings for the fiscal year 2021, as the increase in resale consumption over the course of the year was no doubt driven by supply chain constraints.

Diving into the specific trends it has seen over the course of 2021, The RealReal (“TRR”) revealed that the highest gains in year-over-year resale growth came from high-profile Nike sneakers. value, with “rapidly increasing demand and limited availability of its most sought-after styles has led Nike to see its resale value increase by [32 percent]in 2021, the largest of any brand on the resale platform. According to RTR Men’s Senior Manager Mayank Hajela, the boost for Nike can also be attributed to “the release of new Dunk styles and ongoing collaborations with brands like Off-White and Sacai, [which] made Nikes coveted by generations” of consumers; though it’s “mostly savvy millennials flipping pairs for profit.”

In terms of individual brands, Rolex recorded the second highest level of year-on-year resale growth at 16%, followed by Bottega Veneta (15%), Chrome Hearts (13%) and Hermès (13%).

In terms of what drives actual resale values, TRR says there are broad shifts in consumer behavior that are increasing the value of second-hand goods, including a desire to “extend the cycle of luxury items”. Some 40% of TRR shoppers are “substituting fast fashion for resale,” the company claims. But a potentially bigger driver of demand and resulting resale values ​​— in 2021, at least — was consumers “buying outside of the primary market due to supply shortages,” due to the lack of availability of luxury goods at retail. in many cases, and presumably price increases related to rising shipping costs, etc., which was to make resale a more attractive option for more consumers than ever before.

Speaking specifically about the impact that “supply chain woes” have had on rising resale values ​​in 2021, TRR revealed that it has benefited from the reality that, in at least some cases, “The resale market is increasingly becoming the only place you can get [an item], stimulating an increase in the resale value of coveted items that are perpetually sold out in the primary market. Among those goods were, of course, Rolex watches, the limited supply of which helped push the value of the second-hand market exclusively for watches to $20 billion, CNBC reported in October. This market is expected to grow to more than $30 billion — about half the size of the new watch market — by 2025, according to McKinsey.

On TRR, the Rolex Oyster Perpetual saw a resale value increase of 26% year over year, topped only by the 27% rise in Avalon coverage of Hermès. Tourmaline jewelry increased its resale value by 15% in 2021 compared to the previous year; Louis Vuitton’s Multi Pochette accessories increased by 13%; and Chanel flap bags were up 11%, the latter likely affected at least in part by the multiple price increases the French luxury goods brand has implemented for these bags at retail in 2021.

As for the most notable individual items sold on the TRR platform this year, you can find a list here…

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